"How to Protect Your Computer and Personal Information
How to Avoid Computer Scams and Viruses
Internet Do's and Don'ts"
Speaker: Greg Simms

Spring 2018 General Meeting of the
Honeywell/AlliedSignal Retired Employees Association
April 26, 2018

Gregg Simms delivered a very informative presentation on:

Greg making his presentation

H/AREA attendees listening intently

Greg Simms Presentation Slides

PASSWORDS

Here’s a list for 2017’s of the worst passwords:

123456 admin hello 123456789 starwars
Password welcome freedom letmein 123123
12345678 monkey whatever 1234567 dragon
qwerty login qazwsx football passw0rd
12345 abc123 trustno1 iloveyou maste

Slide 1


PASSWORDS

Slide 2


Password Card

Slide 3


How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure

Slide 4


How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure

Slide 5


Computer Security

Slide 6


Disposing of Old Computers

Slide 7


Disposing of Old Computers

Slide 8


Disposing of Old Computers

Slide 9


Hand outs of Supplemental Material

Stop.Think.Connect.

Referenced by Homeland Security – https:\\www.dhs.gov/publications

While the Internet allows us to stay connected, informed, and involved with family and friends, any public environment requires awareness and caution. Just as you use locks to keep criminals out of your home, you also need safeguards to secure your computer. Below find resources and materials to help you stay cyber safe.


Internet Safety: 7 Steps to Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet

1. Use a firewall

A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that sits between your computer and the internet and only allows certain types of data to cross. For example, a firewall may allow checking email and browsing the web, but disallow things like Windows file sharing.

If you’re connected to the internet through a router, you already have a type of hardware firewall that prevents random networking-based external threats from reaching your computers. Most recent versions of Windows include a software firewall that is on by default.

2. Scan for malware

Sometimes, most commonly via email attachments, malware is able to cross the firewall and end up on your computer anyway.

A malware scanner will locate and remove them from your hard disk. A real-time scanner will notice them as they arrive, even before they hit the disk, but at the cost of slowing down your machine a little, and occasionally even interfering with other operations.

Important: Because new malware is being created every day, it is critical to keep your anti-malware definitions up-to-date. Be sure to enable the scanning software’s automatic-update feature and have it do so every day.

3. Stay up-to-date

I’d wager that over half of all virus infections don’t have to happen. Software vulnerabilities that malware exploits usually already have fixes available by the time the virus reaches a computer.

The problem? The user simply failed to install the latest updates that would have prevented the infection in the first place.

The solution is simple: enable automatic updates in both Windows and applications.

4. Educate yourself.

To be blunt, all of the protection in the world won’t save you from yourself.

When visiting a website, did you get a pop-up asking if it’s OK to install some software that you’re not sure of because you’ve never heard of it? Don’t say OK.

Not sure about some security warning you’ve been given? Don’t  ignore it.  Research it  before doing anything.

And of course, choose secure passwords and don’t share them with anyone.

5. Secure your home network and your mobile connection

If you’re traveling and using internet hotspots, free WiFi, hotel-provided internet, or internet cafes, you must take extra precautions.

Make sure your web email access – or, for that matter, any sensitive website access – is only via secure (https) connections, or that your regular mail program is configured to use only encrypted connections. Don’t let people “shoulder surf” and steal your password by watching you type it in a public place.

Make sure your home WiFi has WPA2-security enabled if anyone can walk within range, and you’ve changed your router’s administrative password.

6. Don’t forget the physical

An old computer adage is that “if it’s not physically  secure, it’s not secure.” . The most common scenario is a laptop being lost or stolen during travel, but I’ve also received many reports from people who’ve been burned because a family member, friend, significant other, or roommate accessed their computer without their knowledge.

7. Back up

I know that backing up doesn’t feel like a “security” measure, but ultimately, it can be one of the most powerful ways to recover if you ever encounter a security-related issue.

The damage done by almost any kind of malware can be quickly reversed if you have a recent backup to restore to.

Having a back-up copy of your data (all your data) can help you recover after computer is lost or stolen (not to mention when a hard disk dies).

Backing up your email and contacts can be a critical way to restore your world should your online account ever be compromised.

Backups truly are the silver bullet of the computing world: a proper and recent backup can help save you from just about any disaster, including security issues.


How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure

Keeping Your Personal Information Secure Offline

Lock your financial documents and records in a safe place at home, and lock your wallet or purse in a safe place at work. Keep your information secure from roommates or workers who come into your home.

Limit what you carry. When you go out, take only the identification, credit, and debit cards you need. Leave your Social Security card at home. Make a copy of your Medicare card and black out all but the last four digits on the copy. Carry the copy with you  — unless you are going to use your card at the doctor’s office.

Before you share information at your workplace, a business, your child's school, or a doctor's office, ask why they need it, how they will safeguard it, and the consequences of not sharing.

Shred receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, and similar documents when you don’t need them any longer.

Destroy the labels on prescription bottles before you throw them out. Don’t share your health plan information with anyone who offers free health services or products.

Take outgoing mail to post office collection boxes or the post office. Promptly remove mail that arrives in your mailbox. If you won’t be home for several days, request a vacation hold on your mail.

When you order new checks, don’t have them mailed to your home, unless you have a secure mailbox with a lock.

Consider opting out of prescreened offers of credit and insurance by mail. You can opt out for 5 years or permanently. To opt out, call 1-888-567-8688 or go to optoutprescreen.com. The 3 nationwide credit reporting companies operate the phone number and website. Prescreened offers can provide many benefits. If you opt out, you may miss out on some offers of credit.

Keeping Your Personal Information Secure Online

Know who you share your information with. Store and dispose of your personal information securely.

Be Alert to Impersonators


Make sure you know who is getting your personal or financial information. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or know who you’re dealing with. If a company that claims to have an account with you sends email asking for personal information, don’t click on links in the email. Instead, type the company name into your web browser, go to their site, and contact them through customer service. Or, call the customer service number listed on your account statement. Ask whether the company really sent a request.

Safely Dispose of Personal Information


Before you dispose of a computer, get rid of all the personal information it stores. Use a wipe utility program to overwrite the entire hard drive.
Before you dispose of a mobile device, check your owner’s manual, the service provider’s website, or the device manufacturer’s website for information on how to delete information permanently, and how to save or transfer information to a new device. Remove the memory or subscriber identity module (SIM) card from a mobile device. Remove the phone book, lists of calls made and received, voicemails, messages sent and received, organizer folders, web search history, and photos.

Encrypt Your Data


Keep your browser secure. To guard your online transactions, use encryption software that scrambles information you send over the internet. A “lock” icon on the status bar of your internet browser means your information will be safe when it’s transmitted. Look for the lock before you send personal or financial information online.

Keep Passwords Private


Use strong passwords with your laptop, credit, bank, and other accounts. Be creative: think of a special phrase and use the first letter of each word as your password. Substitute numbers for some words or letters. For example, “I want to see the Pacific Ocean” could become 1W2CtPo.

Don’t Overshare on Social Networking Sites


If you post too much information about yourself, an identity thief can find information about your life, use it to answer ‘challenge’ questions on your accounts, and get access to your money and personal information. Consider limiting access to your networking page to a small group of people. Never post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, or account numbers in publicly accessible sites.

Securing Your Social Security Number

Keep a close hold on your Social Security number and ask questions before deciding to share it. Ask if you can use a different kind of identification. If someone asks you to share your SSN or your child’s, ask:

The decision to share is yours. A business may not provide you with a service or benefit if you don’t provide your number. Sometimes you will have to share your number. Your employer and financial institutions need your SSN for wage and tax reporting purposes. A business may ask for your SSN so they can check your credit when you apply for a loan, rent an apartment, or sign up for utility service.

Keeping Your Devices Secure

Use Security Software


Install anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and a firewall. Set your preference to update these protections often. Protect against intrusions and infections that can compromise your computer files or passwords by installing security patches for your operating system and other software programs. Avoid Phishing Emails
Don’t open files, click on links, or download programs sent by strangers. Opening a file from someone you don’t know could expose your system to a computer virus or spyware that captures your passwords or other information you type.

Be Wise About Wi-Fi


Before you send personal information over your laptop or smartphone on a public wireless network in a coffee shop, library, airport, hotel, or other public place, see if your information will be protected. If you use an encrypted website, it protects only the information you send to and from that site. If you use a secure wireless network, all the information you send on that network is protected.

Lock Up Your Laptop


Keep financial information on your laptop only when necessary. Don’t use an automatic login feature that saves your user name and password, and always log off when you’re finished. That way, if your laptop is stolen, it will be harder for a thief to get at your personal information.

Read Privacy Policies


Yes, they can be long and complex, but they tell you how the site maintains accuracy, access, security, and control of the personal information it collects; how it uses the information, and whether it provides information to third parties. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.


Computer Security

Scammers, hackers and identity thieves are looking to steal your personal information - and your money. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself, like keeping your computer software up-to-date and giving out your personal information only when you have good reason.

Update Your Software. Keep your software – including your operating system, the web browsers you use to connect to the Internet, and your apps – up to date to protect against the latest threats. Most software can update automatically, so make sure to set yours to do so.
Outdated software is easier for criminals to break into. If you think you have a virus or bad software on your computer, check out how to detect and get rid of malware.

Protect Your Personal Information. Don’t hand it out to just anyone. Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name. So every time you are asked for your personal information – whether in a web form, an email, a text, or a phone message – think about why someone needs it and whether you can really trust the request. In an effort to steal your information, scammers will do everything they can to appear trustworthy. Learn more about scammers who phish for your personal information.

Protect Your Passwords. Here are a few ideas for creating strong passwords and keeping them safe:

Consider Turning On Two-Factor Authentication. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in to your account. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or a token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.

Give Personal Information Over Encrypted Websites Only. If you’re shopping or banking online, stick to sites that use encryption to protect your information as it travels from your computer to their server. To determine if a website is encrypted, look for https at the beginning of the web address. That means the site is secure.

Back Up Your Files . No system is completely secure. Copy your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. If your computer is attacked by malware, you’ll still have access to your files.


Disposing of Old Computers

Getting rid of your old computer? You can ensure its hard drive doesn’t become a treasure chest for identity thieves. Use a program that overwrites or wipes the hard drive many times. Or remove the hard drive, and physically destroy it.

Understand Your Hard Drive


Computers often hold personal and financial information, including:

When you save a file, especially a large one, it is scattered around the hard drive in bits and pieces. When you open a file, the hard drive gathers the bits and pieces and reconstructs them.

When you delete a file, the links to reconstruct the file disappear. But the bits and pieces of the deleted file stay on your computer until they’re overwritten, and they can be retrieved with a data recovery program. To remove data from a hard drive permanently, the hard drive needs to be wiped clean.

How to Clean a Hard Drive

Before you clean a hard drive, save the files you want to keep to:

Check your owner’s manual, the manufacturer’s website, or its customer support service for information on how to save data and transfer it to a new computer.

Utility programs to wipe a hard drive are available both online and in stores where computers are sold. These programs generally are inexpensive; some are available on the internet for free. These programs vary:

Consider using a program that overwrites or wipes the hard drive many times; otherwise, the deleted information could be retrieved. Or remove the hard drive, and physically destroy it.

If you use your home or personal computer for business purposes, check with your employer about how to manage the information on your computer that’s business-related. The law requires businesses to follow data security and disposal requirements for certain information that’s related to customers.

How to Dispose of Your Computer

Recycle it.


Many computer manufacturers have programs to recycle computers and components. Check their websites or call their toll-free numbers for more information. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has information about electronic product recycling programs. Your local community may have a recycling program, too. Check with your county or local government, including the local landfill office for regulations.

Donate it.


Many organizations collect old computers and donate them to charities.

Resell it.


Some people and organizations buy old computers. Check online.

Remember, most computer equipment contains hazardous materials that don’t belong in a landfill. For example, many computers have heavy metals that can contaminate the earth. The EPA recommends that you check with your local health and sanitation agencies for ways to dispose of electronics safely.


10 Things to Avoid Fraud


Background information on Greg Simms:

Greg Simms works for the Township of Morris in the IT Dept. supporting network infrastructure, desktop implementations/upgrades, training and trouble shooting. Greg has 20+ years of experience working in a mainframe/server environment for large local companies. He also has been a volunteer for 30+ years for the OEM/Fire Dept. for the Township of Morris. In his spare time he recycles computers to give to charities and to dispose of electronic parts safely.